CYPRUS WITHDRAWS CHARGES AGAINST BISHOP
- 2001.01.31 Reuters: CYPRUS WITHDRAWS FRAUD CHARGES AGAINST BISHOP
NICOSIA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Cypriot authorities abruptly withdrew charges
of fraud against a former bishop on Wednesday suspected of defrauding
foreigners in a get-rich-quick scheme.
Prosecutors filed for a suspension of charges against Chrysanthos, the
former Bishop of Limassol, at the start of the court hearing in the capital
Chrysanthos, identified by only one name in accordance with Greek Orthodox
Church custom, had denied charges of attempting to defraud British
businessman Gerald Chambers of $3.7 million.
Legal sources said Chambers, now in New Zealand and the principal state
witness, had refused to testify against the bishop in court.
"We are leaving this courtroom not feeling that there was a pardon, but
because we expected this," Chrysanthos's lawyer Efstathios Efstathiou told
The affair cast a harsh spotlight on the financial dealings of the island's
all-powerful Greek Orthodox Church and prompted Chrysanthos's resignation
under pressure from his peers in November 1999.
(C) Reuters Limited 2001.